Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Importance Of Being Hospitable

As our social media life expands it appears our face-to-face relationships are starting to slip. When is the last time you had a dinner guest over or had someone sleeping on your sofa? Hospitality was always an important thing for Christians and still is in some places, but many of us have been letting it go. Remember Hebrews 13:2?

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." 

No earth shattering revelation here, but still important when it comes to loving kindness. If we are given an opportunity to take someone into our home, to shelter and feed, we have no idea what agent of the Lord we are blessing. In blessing them we are blessing our Lord.

Remember Abraham, as he sat near the great trees of Mamre three men came upon him. Abraham suddenly took on the role of a servant, being a great host to these angels. They went on from Abraham and encountered his nephew Lot in Sodom and this is the reception they received from him:

“Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” (Genesis 19:2)

These are excellent examples for Hebrews 13:2. But it isn't just a good idea to be hospitable, Jesus indicated it is his expectation of us. In the great passage of Matthew 25, Jesus gave examples of actions that bless him when we bless others:

"... for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in..."

There are further commands in the epistles, but I will only mention two:

"Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13)

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." (1 Peter 4:9)

Simply put, our home belongs to the Lord and is to be made available to others. If he sends us people to care for then we are under the obligation of love to take them in and care for them, rich or poor. Hospitality is not just for those who need help but also an extended hand of friendship to any traveler. In fact, they don't even need to be travelers. Have someone over after worship service today and see how the Lord will bless others through you. Practice hospitality as a manifestation of Yahweh's love.

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